By Tony Winterburn • 27 November 2020 • 6:30
China Leads the World with Almost 1 Million Vaccinated Against the Coronavirus.
While countries around the world anxiously await the arrival of a vaccine for the coronavirus, a growing portion of the Chinese population has reportedly already been vaccinated. In an interview last week with the Sichuan Daily, the chair of the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm Group said that its COVID-19 vaccines have been used by nearly one million people in China.
The vaccinations have occurred as part of an emergency use program that began in late July, though few details about it have been revealed by the Chinese government. What we do know is that as part of the program, China’s State Council authorized high-risk groups including medical workers, customs officials, and transportation workers to start receiving one of three Chinese-made vaccines — two from Sinopharm and one produced by Sinovac.
However, some Chinese cities have also been offering vaccines to members of the public.
So far, the vaccines appear to have been administered in a decentralized fashion, with a handful of local governments officially announcing availability. People have rushed to queue up for a dose even though transmission remains very low in China and the safety and efficacy of the vaccines has yet to be proven.
China v US vaccine program
The US is expected to launch an emergency vaccine program soon as well but under very different circumstances. Three major research teams have all published initial data on their efficacy and safety. Pfizer and BioNTech, which filed for Emergency Use Authorization for their vaccine last week, reported that it is 95 per cent effective based on initial results from the phase 3 trials.
These trials test a vaccine on a large segment of the population (tens of thousands of study participants) for efficacy and safety. Two other vaccine makers — Moderna and AstraZeneca and Oxford in the UK — have also released promising phase 3 data showing high efficacy and no serious adverse events for their candidate vaccines.
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